#DayForFreedom Protest | What to Expect

#DayForFreedom Protest | What to Expect

On Sunday, May 6th an alliance of free speech activists will be protesting outside parliament and Downing Street on Whitehall. The event has been organised and promoted by right-wing figures such as Tommy Robinson, Milo Yiannopoulos,  and Anne Marie Waters among many others. Opponents of the rally have described its organisers as far-right racists and say the protest is really an attack on Muslims.

In a recent livestream Robinson said the event will be the “biggest free speech event Britain has ever seen” and "the place to be. He says the speakers are “defenders of free speech" who are “fearless in face of Islam." Robinson also explained that the event is about sending a message.  Along with a giant lorry-sized screen, a huge 7-metre stage, and a £6000 PA system the event will feature singers and comedians as well as a collection of speakers. The event is expected to start at 3 pm and last two hours.

On the website for the event its organisers say: 

As we travelled the world to film with our guests and speakers, we listened to their perspectives on the need for free speech and one thing became clear. Every one agreed that without free speech there can ultimately be no freedom, and without it, the freedoms on which we found our societies would begin to crumble and fade.

The event will also be attended by anti-fascist and anti-racist organisations such as Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism, as well as groups such as antifa who have called for an international response to the event. Mick Cash the General Secretary of the RMT union also wrote an email to all regional branches calling for members of the RMT to protest the "racists and Islamophobes in London." Members of UNISON the second largest trade union in the UK will also be attending

The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) and Veterans Against Terrorism (VAT) will be meeting at Hyde Parks speakers corner at around 1-1:30 pm before beginning the ~45 minute march to Whitehall at around 1:45 pm

In a flyer distributed by Stand up to Racism they write "we can’t allow racists and fascists to march through multicultural London without opposition." Meanwhile, in their Facebook post regarding the event, they include the following:

Tommy Robinson is a notorious racist who founded the far-right English Defence League, and has links with neo-nazi and fascist organisations. He has associated with alt-right organisations, and racists like Kate Hopkins. 

Groups of protesters and counter-protesters will be travelling in from all over the country (and abroad) so it is expected that several thousand people will descend upon London with both sides over-estimating their numbers afterwards.

Security will be high, both through the police presence and private security staff hired by the organisers to keep speakers safe. After the event, the speakers will be whisked away quickly at the request of the police.

There will be dozens of livestreams of the event and mainstream and independent media will be out in force. Narratives will immediately start to be pushed by all attendees.

Most attendees from both sides will be peacefully opposing each other however some people will arrive looking for a fight. We expect there to be a number of small-scale skirmishes quickly broken up by the attending police. Troublemakers will be arrested to much outcry. Based on previous events it is likely that several handheld smoke flares will be let off leading to an afternoon or night in a jail cell for the person who let them off if caught. Due to police cordons and kettles, prolonged direct physical confrontations will be unlikely however we would hazard a guess that objects will be thrown back and forth. Later on in the day it is likely that opposing forces will face off away from the main event and start fighting.

If you're going: see you there, stay safe and don't do anything stupid.

May 4th News Digest

May 4th News Digest